Ahead Even Though I'm Behind
So far I would say that the Comment Challenge has been a huge success for me. For the Day 1 task, I said that I probably commented on blogs about five times a week. Flash forward to today and my coComment account tells me that over the last 17 days I've tracked 23 conversations--on some of these I've left multiple comments. In addition, for the first 10 days I didn't realize I had to click 'Track' each time I left a comment (I thought it would automatically track when I commented--oops). I wish I had a better idea of how much I'm commenting, but I would estimate that I now make at least 3 comments a day, which is a big improvement for me, though I know it pales in comparison to the commenting heavyweights.
Not only am I commenting more, but I am trying to connect with the people who comment on my blog, or leave trackbacks. As a result I'm being exposed to a lot of new people and ideas.
Is It Cheating If I Peak At What They Wrote?!
I've been learning a lot by reading other 'challengers' posts on the different daily tasks. It is interesting to see how others are dealing with the Day 11 task, Write a Comment Policy. Some folks, like Kevin, didn't have a policy before this task and now do. Others, like Sarah, had a policy and have decided to change it a bit. Still others, like Sue, are wondering if they really even need a policy. I haven't written a policy yet, but I think I'll take more of a 'how to' approach, rather than a detailed policy on what I'll allow and not allow on my blog. Something to the effect of "play nice" and "spam will be deleted" may suffice for the policy part.
Homework Check Time
Days 1 - 3: done and posted here.
Day 4: Ask A Question In A Blog Comment--I've been doing more of this lately. My questions haven't been very deep, more along the lines of "how do you _____?" It has helped me to engage more with bloggers and commenters and hopefully some deep questions will start to spill forth...
Day 5: Comment On A Post You Don't Agree With--I found a post by Clay Burell; I didn't disagree with his post, but I did disagree with what some commenters to that post had to say. I really was torn as to whether I should comment or not. The post and comments were discussing science, in particular Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection, and religion. I hemmed and I hawed, but I eventually decided to stay out of that particular quagmire; in a debate like this I just didn't feel that I was going to change any minds. There are some issues that people don't just don't flip flop on.
Day 6: Engage Another Commenter in Discussion--I've sort of melded this task with Day 4's and have basically asked other commenters questions relating to their comments. Again, this has helped me to connect with and learn from others.
Day 7: Reflect On What You've Learned So Far--this task asks for three lessons learned. Lesson #1, check out the blogs of the people who take the time to comment on or trackback to your blog. Lesson #2, try to engage the blogger and other commenters by asking questions. Lesson #3, remember to click 'Track' when leaving a comment :-)
Day 8: Comment On A Blog Outside Of Your Niche--ok, so here's where the wheels start to fall off the bus. The thing is I like my niche (and I don't even mind if you say it neesh or nitch). Having said this, I have written about stretching my world view. However, it has been much easier to add a range of news outlets to my iGoogle page than it has been to find a blog outside of my niche and comment on it. I do comment on a triathlon blog, and I am not involved in the sport. Is it cheating if the blog is my sister's? Ok, must work harder on this task.
Day 9: Should We Be Commenting On Blogs?--done and posted here.
Claire needs to learn to apply herself. She tends to focus on those tasks which appeal to her, and minimize the importance of the tasks which put her outside of her comfort zone. Yes, she is commenting more, but at this rate it will be July before she is done.
The Wrap Up
For most of this post I've focussed on the commenting aspect of this challenge, however, I'm finding that my posting is improving as well.
Prior to the challenge my post mode was 3 posts a month; this will be my fourth post this month and it is only just half over. My writing is also improving. I'm trying to convey information in an organized, thoughtful and sometimes humorous way. Knowing that there are 126 other people doing this challenge, I've tried to make my post titles enticing. No straightforward 'Day 7: Reflect on What You've Learned So Far' titles for me--I need a title that draws you in. But beware! My first post It's Day 1 Baby! got me my second only spam trackback and it was to Pregnant Celebrities (or some such thing). The celebrities part must have been all the fabulous bloggers I linked to in the post ;-) The pregnant part must have come from my title. Lesson learned--no babies in titles.
So yes I'm behind, no I'm not stressing, and yes I am learning.
If you are doing the challenge too, which task have you found the most difficult, or the one you've dreaded the most? Thanks for reading!
Images: Crossing the finish line with my sister, Homework by Gollygeedamn, Albert Bowles report card E. St. Louis Juniour High by Liz Castro
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Tags: comment08, blogs, comment